British Columbia

Income splitting 'moral failure' for excluding single parents: YWCA

The YWCA is adding to the criticism around the federal government's income-splitting tax incentives for its exclusion of single parent families.

Association says women and families in poverty get no help from new family tax credit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper does arts and crafts with a student at the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus in Vaughan, Ont., on Thursday, October 30, 2014, after announcing an income-splitting proposal, fulfilling a promise from the 2011 election campaign. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The YWCA is adding to the criticism around the federal government's income-splitting tax incentives for its exclusion of single parent families.

"I think it's really a moral failure of our society," Janet Austin, the CEO of the Metro Vancouver YWCA, told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

In British Columbia, there are approximately 16,000 single parent families on income and disability assistance, and according to the provincial government, approximately 90 per cent of those parents are women.

"It's a reflection of the poverty of women, and the fact that we don't recognize the importance of the care of children and recognize that it is of economic value."

Last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report saying the new family tax credit — a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under 18-years-old — will cost $2.2 billion dollars, and will benefit 15 per cent of Canadian households.

The report said middle and middle-high income couples are most likely to benefit from the credit.

Austin said she would like to see investments aimed at helping single parents, such as a federal universal child care system.

"It's very difficult for single parents to work or to improve their employment potential by studying when they have responsibility for the care of young children, so they face enormous challenges.

To hear the full interview with Janet Austin, click the audio labelled: YWCA criticizes new family tax credit.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this article stated there are approximately 16,000 single parent families in British Columbia. In fact, there are approximately 16,000 single parent families on income and disability assistance.
    Mar 23, 2015 12:48 PM PT

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now